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Old 04-25-2011, 05:35 PM   #1
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Bed Saver and Tailgate

Can anyone tell me about your experiences or thought about a "bed saver?" Is it something worth purchasing? When I asked our salesman about it he seemed to indicate it was unnecessary. However, if we should not get hooked up properly and the hitch hits the bed of the truck it seems like it would be worth the expense.

What type of 5th wheel tailgate would you recommend purchasing? Again, although I would prefer not to spend the money it seems like it would be a good investment. Thoughts???

Thanks!
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:28 PM   #2
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Most of those made out of plastic, that slide in, end up rubbing the paint under them off, kind of defeating the purpose. When I owned a pickup I had a spray in liner applied and really liked it. It had a rubbery feel and in addition to protecting the bed helped keep things from sliding around. I think ours was 'Fabick', but there are competitors out there. Line-X and Rhino come to mind.
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:33 PM   #3
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If you hit the bed of the truck with the hitch, a bed saver won't protect your truck bed, it'll more than likely punch right through. If you don't get the pin locked in the jaws of the hitch, you'll more likely slide out of it & the nose of the 5-r will hit the bed sides. Or, if you're moving too fast, it'll put a dent in your tailgate. The moral here is to do a "test pull" before you actually leave your campsite so you'll know you are hitched correctly. However, when we had a truck for our previous 5-r, it came with a Rhino lining (we bought it used). Sure saved the bed when we dumped firewood in it, plus because it was textured & rubbery, stuff stayed put. Like Jay stated, don't bother with the slide-in plastic ones. You'll ruin your bed paint & they crack easily.

As for the tailgate, we purchased a metal louvered notched tailgate that had a black powdercoat finish. I think it was around $300. It made it so much easier to hookup. No more raising & lowering the tailgate. Besides, I was always afraid I would forget to raise the 5-r high enough before I backed up to hitch or pulled away when we arrived at our destination & having the notched tailgate made for 1 less worry for me.

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Old 04-25-2011, 11:01 PM   #4
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5th Wheel Bed Saver

Thanks to the responses about the "bed saver" and the importance of a tailgate made for a 5th wheel.

We already have a liner in our truck which we find helpful. I apologize that I was not more clear because the "bed saver" I was referring to is something you attach to the 5th wheel hitch and catches the 5th wheel if for some reason it is not hitched correctly and breaks away from the truck, thus saving the bed of your truck from being dented by the kingpin landing on the bed of the truck. If you want to see what it looks like, just Google "5th wheel bed savers" and it should come up.

Again, thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:07 PM   #5
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If you're doing a test pull every time you're ready to roll & if you check your connections anytime you are away from your hitched up rig (i.e. rest stops, Cracker Barrel for dinner etc), I don't see needing a bed saver. That's not to say the pin will never, ever come out of the hitch jaws, there can always be a failure, but I don't think it's worth spending the money for the small chance it would happen.

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Old 05-01-2011, 03:16 PM   #6
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Spray in line gets my vote. My brother-in-law has a 5th wheel and when he pulls his, he takes his tail gate off hooks up what looks like a nylon gate. It does keep his things being carried in the bed of the truck safe and secure.
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Old 05-01-2011, 04:57 PM   #7
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[QUOTE=STEPUP2RVing;840093]Can anyone tell me about your experiences or thought about a "bed saver?" Is it something worth purchasing? When I asked our salesman about it he seemed to indicate it was unnecessary. However, if we should not get hooked up properly and the hitch hits the bed of the truck it seems like it would be worth the expense.

If you are careful, use a check list and do a pull test, it's not necessary. But to each is own, some won't leave home without one.

What type of 5th wheel tailgate would you recommend purchasing? Again, although I would prefer not to spend the money it seems like it would be a good investment. Thoughts???

I like the stock tail gate. The only inconvenience is you have to lower it to hook up and unhook. However, with the stock hitch and a tonneau cover, once set up at the CG, you can totally cover your bed and hitch. Plus, when not RVing, you have full use of the bed.

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Old 05-01-2011, 05:58 PM   #8
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I installed a Bedsaver right after I first installed my hitch because I was (and maybe still am) a 5er newbie. I understood the consequences of a lapse in attention. So far I haven't needed it, but I get a lot of peace of mind knowing it's there. There have been many accidents that a Bedsaver would have prevented. You can read them online and then do your own risk analysis.
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Old 05-01-2011, 10:49 PM   #9
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Bedsaver = ~$200
Cost to fix truck bed and fiver from one mistake = $1000s

If you are positive you will never make a mistake hooking up then it's your choice.

I personally like a V tailgate. I have been in some situations where I had to hookup at an angle. If I had a regular tailgate I could not have lowered it and hookup because it would have hit the fiver. I bought the cheapest I could find, Stromberg Carlson for less then $200.
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Old 05-02-2011, 08:32 AM   #10
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My DW thinks I am slightly anal retentive when we are setting up and breaking camp. I have check list that I follow and only will work in the order on the check list either to set-up or break camp.
So with that being said, I was doing my pull test one time and the pin came out of the jaws. Between the legs being down and the bed saver on the hitch, I saved the bed of my pick-up truck. The tail gate was down. I doubled checked on why the pin came out and I figured out I had high hitched on the pin. My bad.
Now did I really need the bed saver? I do not know but it did catch the pin and prevent a lot of stress from being applied to the front legs.

As far as what style of tail gate, I prefer the factory tail gate on the truck. I have a soft bed cover that I roll out over the bed when the 5er is not hook-up. This keeps the hitch out of the elements and from causal observation and mischiecf.
Jim W.
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:28 PM   #11
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The first Bedsaver I saw years ago I first heard and saw it in action.
A sick person broke the padlock and pulled the lever open on a fellow RVers 5th wheel hitch parked next to me in a outlet mall of of I-35. The RVer was leaving just as the wife and I got to our truck and trailer. I heard this loud wham. I turned around and the guys 5er was sitting down hehind the hitch but not on the trucks bedsides. He applied the trailers brakes and backed back under the pin.
I heard the Bedsaver catch the pin and and saw the trailer slide back up over the hitch plate.

Having dropped a 5er several years (1984) before due to a broken spring on a brand new sliding bar hitch, that incident sold me on the advantages of having a Bedsaver.

My point here is there are several reasons a trailer can land on the truck even though you make a perfect hookup. Less than 200 bucks and a simple installation make it a good insurance safety devise IMO.

I also use a Custom Flow tail gate. Its also all steel. Having two GN and a 5th wheel trailer it eliminates all the hassel of opening and closing the tail gate. Also the flow through part eliminates 90 percent of air turbulence in the trucks bed. I can carry just about anything in the bed with the gate when pulling the 5er without wind blowing it out.
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:14 PM   #12
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I'm not gonna go on about the perfect folks who never make a mistake hooking up or disconnecting even with their lists ............

The Bed Saver to me is a great idea for those times when you have a senior moment (me) or a case of CRS (also me). OK - my history with fivers dates to 1976!! Been doing it a while. Never had a problem on several in many, many thousand miles. Got a bit higher end unit along with a new truck and a different hitch system and decided that a less then $200 Bed Saver for that few bucks worth of peace of mind was worth the investment. Yep, it sure was. returning from the first time out, didn't have the fiver wheels chocked (CRS!) - of course it rolled, the pin dropped into the Bed Saver. Total damage - a scratch on the Bed Saver pin pocket.

As far as the special V/flow through tail gates - I have a very low end $50-$60 plastic cloth version. I can pull the tailgate off and install the V/flow through gate in about 5 minutes. I like to have the solid tailgate and my tonneau cover on if I'm not hauling the 5er
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Old 05-03-2011, 01:28 PM   #13
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15+ years towing 5th wheels with no "bed saver" and with stock tailgates. I haven't lost a 5th wheel or bent up a tailgate yet. So, do I need a "bed saver" and a 5th wheel tailgate? Gosh, who knows; maybe I should wear a Snell-approved helmet and a Nomex flame-retardant driving suit while I'm driving down the road as well. Heck, let's install a full roll cage in the truck cab. Where does it stop?

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Old 05-03-2011, 04:01 PM   #14
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I have had both, and no longer use either.

Tail Gate - Unless you are hitching and unhitching frequently (daily?) I see no need for them. Ir really doesn't take that long to lower or raise the tailgate. What is does do is allow everyone behind you to see into your bed and what "goodies" you are carrying. And I really don't care if the people behind me know that I tow a 5er or not.

Bed-Saver - I had a Blue-Ox bed saver. Very sturdy and well built. It would certainly capture and hold a 5er from crunching the bed rails. I leave my hitch in all the time except when I need to take it out. The bed saver made it that much heavier to remove. BUT!!! It got in the way of almost everything I tried to put into the rear bed of the truck. It even blocked me from putting my large green trash can (for carrying grass clippings to the dump) in the bed. I removed before the first season of use ended. It is not something that is easy to remove. With some Due Diligence before pulling out from each stop, you can minimize any issues with a short visual inspection and a simple brake test.


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